The so-called Ag Gag bills in Florida and Minnesota failed to go through, but New York and Iowa are still looking at legislation to prevent investigative reporting in factory farming facilities.
Undercover reporting has exposed some pretty shocking animal cruelty in these facilities, and without these journalists and activists to advocate for them, the animals in factory farming operations would have no voice at all.
Iowa’s governor, Terry Branstad (R), has called such investigations supports the bill and calls undercover investigations “a problem that should be addressed,” but others in Iowa’s Republican party strongly oppose the bill. There’s been a huge public outcry, and hopefully this one won’t pass, either.
The New York bill, which targets investigations at factory farms and laboratories, is getting a little bit of a different spin. Proponents are calling it a food safety measure, but the bill itself is not much different from the ones in Florida, Minnesota, and Iowa. As Will Potter reports:
S5172 criminalizes undercover investigators and whistleblowers by targeting “audio recording or photography done without the farm owner’s written consent.”
Covert investigations like a recent video from Mercy for Animals have revealed unbelievably cruel conditions in factory farming operations, and without these kinds of investigations, who would hold these businesses accountable?
What do you guys think about these bills? Do you favor keeping cameras and recording equipment out of farms and laboratories, or do you think this sort of reporting has its merits? Sound off in the comments!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Christian V.